Wednesday 28 November 2018

FOSSC: tryhard

Some say if you don't capsize, you're not trying hard enough. I know a few that would vehemently disagree with that but that's not the point, however fair a point they might well have.

I do think this is one of the cuter trophies in the club's catalogue; I'm not all together unamused at bringing it home again.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Calstar: Refloat

Got up before the crack of dawn to head down to Plymouth yesterday to re-launch Calstar. As the sun doesn't come up until just shy of 0800 at this time of year, that's not as harsh a start to the morning as it sounds. The work on Calstar's gel-coat has been finished, her anti-foul renewed, and the heads replaced.

It's fair to say that I've got more tolerance for Dad's driving than he has for mine, although I dispute any suggestion that this should be a reflection on my driving, and more on Dad's qualities as a passenger. The advantage of this, of course, is I generally get to read for the two and a half hours it takes each way on the journey to and from Plymouth. And have free hands and attention should a pretty photograph present itself.

Sunrise over the Severn Valley was more subtle creep than glorious dawn splendour, but for a minute or two the hazed light took on a lovely shade of pale ochre before the morning gave way to a drab, grey overcast that endured for most of the rest of the drive down.

By the time we arrived in Plymouth, the grubby grey sky had given way to a bright, cold blue and a glorious, still winter's day; perfect for re-launching and moving Calstar around to her winter berth, deeper into the shelter of the marina than she was previously moored.

All went smoothly, aside from a little confusion over the meaning of "left" and "right" in the last moments of guiding her into her new berth. The shiny, freshly rejuvenated gelcoat was saved however with an athletic landing onto the pontoon finger just ahead of Calstar's arrival and some energetic fending off.

I'm generally not a fan of jumping from the boat, but every so often it just has to be done, and at least there was another vessel already moored on the other side of the finger to stabilise my landing. The finger pontoons can be a bit wobbly if that's not the case.

It's good to have her back afloat. She's not quite yet ready to sail. Below looks like a disaster site, as we're mid-way through a long overdue replacement of the head-lining. It will be finished soon however, and she'll look like a new boat when it's done.

Well, new for a 37 year old lady, in any case. Hopefully we'll get a last sail in before Christmas.

Friday 23 November 2018

Not my stage

A night out with my wife to catch a band. Not done this in a while.

Wait, don't think we've ever done this....

Monday 19 November 2018

FOSSC: an unfortunate hat-trick

I had to miss the Laying-up Supper and prize giving at Frampton this weekend as we had a gig down in Bristol. Got to the Club Sunday morning for the usual racing, and various friends cryptically mentioned "Heard you won a trophy" and "Congratulations on the prize" and that sort of thing.

It was the prize-giving evening, and I've had a good first year with the Laser, winning the Personal Handicap and the Summer Class series, so it wasn't a great surprise, and I was at first a bit baffled at their apparent amusement.

Especially when the people offering the congratulations suddenly turned coy when I asked them which trophy they meant.

Turns out it's my old friend the Capsize Trophy. Which makes it the third time the thing has come home with me. I thought there was some sort of unwritten rule about winning it more than once, but apparently not.

And, apparently, the prize giving committee were quite unanimous in their choice this year. Amongst apparently may obviously qualifying achievements of the candidate concerned, there was some mention of something about a certain person being idiot enough to try racing a Laser Standard rig in 50mph winds.

That's not how the person relating the decision to me was kind enough to phrase it. Neither did they suggest that the clear lack of any apparent instincts of self-preservation were in any way some kind of character flaw; but I do rather suspect that was what was going through their minds.

Wednesday 14 November 2018


The view from my office window late this afternoon. Autumn hasn't quite yet conceded in full to winter's stark grip.

Sunday 11 November 2018

Freefall: drummer's view

Although once we get going, he'll mostly see me, stood in front of his kit.

FOSSC: weekend playground

Spent most of it here.

Yesterday working with the powerboats, training a new draft of drivers to rescue us when it all goes wrong.

Today, raced Amanda's Enterprise with her; went well, we are definitely improving. Then raced my Laser. Started well, very well. All went rapidly downhill from there.

Sat on the drummers stool, waiting for the gig to start; on in 20 minutes. The drummer has the most comfortable seat in the house, which is the only reason I'm sat here.

Hands hurt, fingers stiff from all the sailing of the last couple of weeks. Voice is much improved after a recent cold, but there are still some of the higher notes quite literally missing. Which worries me, but I'm sure they'll come back.

Oddly, despite my physical exhaustion, I'm really looking forward to the gig.

Cold beer in hand, only one of the evening until I get home later tonight. It does taste good.

Saturday 3 November 2018

Friday 2nd

My eldest son had news today that he'd lost a friend.

I had news that a friend had lost his son.

We are heartbroken for them both, their family, and everybody this will touch.

Thursday 1 November 2018

Laser: forecast

Laser Open at Frampton on Saturday. Looking at the forecast, not sure if I should be looking forward to it or quaking with fear. If it comes in as promised, I think I'm going to really regret not prioritising getting myself a Radial rig (ie. smaller, cut down sail for those of us not into racing little plastic dinghies around a puddle)

Browsing some photos from earlier this year, just to get my head into the right space . . . .